46% of the elderly who live in rural areas regularly help relatives, neighbors or friends



46% percent of older people living in the rural area regularly helps family, neighbors or friends, a generous task to which they dedicate an average of 26 hours per week.

These are some of the data of the Last Barometer of Older than the Democratic Union of Pensioners and Retirees of Spain (UDP) publishes each year with the opinions of people in the group regarding lifestyles, active and healthy aging, evaluations of social services or the situation of society in general.

In rural areas, three out of ten older people carry out unpaid activities, providing solidarity support to other people or groups (30.3%), includes the report, carried out by Simple Lógica, which delves into the contribution of the elderly who live in municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants and that reflects the importance of the contribution of the elderly in this area, even in the hostile context of the pandemic.

Among the older people surveyed who claim to help their family, neighbors or friends in rural areas, the financial support for their relatives (21.5%) e going to relatives’ houses to take care of them (20.7%) are the most frequent forms of help.

Thus, it stands out that 46% regularly give this aid to family, neighbors or friends, a percentage much higher than that registered in the whole of Spain (28.2%), which reflects a greater cohesion of the links in this area.

Most frequent associative activities

The collection, distribution of food and accompaniment in homes or residences are the most frequent associative activities.

As for the regularity of the most common associative activities, it is greater in rural areas: lhalf of those who claim to be active in a non-profit organization do so regularly (51% compared to 35.7% in Spain), with an average dedication of almost 5 hours a week and 38% say that they have done it on time (46.6% in Spain).

The main beneficiary group is the general population and the associations to which the elderly are linked are religious. The most common solidarity activity in the field of associations is the food collection and distribution (37.3%), followed by company in homes or residences (21.6% compared to 4.9% registered at the national level) and the support for sick people, people with disabilities and other groups (13.9%, while in Spain it is 31.2%).

These activities are followed by leisure, sports and free time (11%), civil protection (8.6%), educational and cultural activities (7.4%), support for health and special centers (5.9%), the promotion of health / healthy life (3.6%), development cooperation (3%), help in environmental protection or awareness (1.7%) and other activities (12.6%).

Regarding solidarity support to other people or groups: 18.7% helped family members, neighbors or friends; 6.1% did so from an association, and 13.4% with a donation. For their part, seven out of ten people say they did not carry out any activity. With respect to the set of Spain, social participation in rural areas is almost 10 percentage points lower (30.3% compared to 40.6%). Asked about the personal motivations that lead them to participate in an organization in the rural context, 86% indicate that they do so to feel “useful and to be able to help others”.

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